The divestment demonstration during Back2Bellingham was an embarrassment for everyone associated with Western. Portraying President Shepard as a caricature receiving money from Shell is not only juvenile, it’s also incredibly ignorant. If I were President Shepard, I would not be upset that students were insulting me, even after I stopped their tuition from raising by refusing budget cuts, but that students were so short-sighted and selfish.
Western is a very environmentally-oriented institution, and everyone here agrees with Students for Renewable Energy, SRE, and would love to divest, as soon as it’s an economic possibility. It’s selfish of the members of SRE to advocate for less low income students being able to attend college, so they can feel better about themselves for not being associated with an oil company. I challenge Marika Weber and the rest of SRE to drop the theatrics, check their privilege and actually add something to the conversation, rather than berating the president for making the choice that benefit the majority of students. If you think it would be better for everyone to divest right now, prove it. Create a financial proposal that provides a way for the school to divest from fossil fuels. Be the change you wish to see, and try something new for once.